Dagong Credit Rating to Belarus
April 26, 2012, the Chinese rating agency Dagong Cregit Rating Co., Ltd. assigned to Belarus sovereign credit ratings \"BB +\" - for liabilities in the national currency and \"BB-\" - for liabilities in the foreign currency. The outlook is \"stable.\"
The decision was taken following the work of Dagong analysts in Belarus in February 2012. An agreement with the rating agency on assigning the sovereign credit rating to Belarus was signed in November 2011.
Assigning the sovereign credit rating, according to Dagong Credit Rating agency, will open up the financial markets of South-Eastern Asia to Belarus. The government is likely to place bonds on the stock exchanges and the OTC market among residents of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.
Moreover, the expansion of trade and investment and credit co-operation with Asian companies is expected, since, according to the Dagong evaluation, the sovereign credit ratings of Belarus is several notches higher than the credit ratings from agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
At present, Dagong Credit Rating is one of the major Chinese rating agencies that rates bonds of 10 thousand companies worth about $ 1 trillion and bank loans worth more than $ 110 billion.
For reference. According to the National Statistical Committee, the volume of foreign trade between Belarus and China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) decreased in January-February 2012 by 10%, compared to the previous year, to 358.322 million dollars. The exports of Belarusian goods fell by 24.8% to $ 56.583 million and the imports of Chinese goods declined by 6.5% to $ 301.739 million.
Direct Chinese investments into the Belarusian economy in 2011 reduced by 1.8 times, to $ 9,862 million.
As of January 1, 2012, China accounts for 8.3% of Belarus’ total external debt (in monetary terms, the external debt to China is about $ 2.824 billion). The major borrowers are the Belarusian government and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.